I just read “People in prison should be on short rations, too,” by Rita Welcome (letter, Jan. 14).

Prisons and jails do not pay for inmates to have television and cable; it’s paid by the inmate benefit fund, not taxpayers’ money.

As for limiting inmates to one sandwich per meal, let me say that the meals at Kennebec County jail cost $1.30 each, and the food amount is not much. The only prisoners who eat better are those whose family/loved ones give them money to buy out of the commissary.

If Welcome sat in jail for 24 hours, she would realize her sentence about prisoners sitting “in jail, warm with full bellies” couldn’t be further from the truth.

She might think that harsher punishment is the best treatment, but that won’t work.

If a person pokes a stick at a dog in a cage every time they walk by, the dog will lash out and attack the first time that cage door is open. People are the same way; most of those people will be back on our streets again, and if they suffer years of mistreatment and mental anguish they will be worse than they were when they went to jail. Is that what she wants?

Kevin Tardiff


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